The Oral Cavity

The oral cavity is conveniently divided by the
arch formed by the teeth and gums into:

1. Oral Vestibule
- lies between
the gums and
the teeth.
2. Oral Cavity
- lies behind and
within the arch of
1. Anteriorly by the
2. Laterally by the
3. Superiorly by the
mucolabial and
mucobuccal folds,
4. Posteriorly and
medially by the
teeth and gums.
1. Anteriorly and
laterally by the
teeth and gums,
2. Superiorly by the
palate (hard and
3. Inferiorly by the
tongue and the floor
of the mouth, and
4. Posteriorly by the
opening into the
The Sublingual Region


1. Anterior 2/3
of the tongue,
2. Lingual
3. Lingual vein,
4. Sublingual
5. Sublingual
6. Fimbriated
Gums and Gingivae
- consist of dense vascular fibrous
tissue which is covered by mucous
membrane and is attached to the
alveolar margins of the jaw.

- they are continuous with the mucosa
of the oral vestibule externally and
the palate or the floor of the mouth
Hard and Soft Palate

The palate forms the superior wall or
the roof of the oral cavity proper. It
is composed of the hard palate which
has an osseous base, and behind, a
soft palate composed of fibrous
- Covered by mucoperiosteum and forms
a partition between the oral and nasal

- mucoperiosteum is thin in the middle
but thicker at the sides due to the
presence of numerous glands

- formed by the palatine process of the
maxilla and the horizontal plate of the
palatine bone.
Characteristic Features:
1. Median raphe is a
longitudinal ridge
extending from the
uvula to the incisive

2. Incisive papilla is a
small projection of
the mucosa indicating
the location of the
incisive foramen and
the anterior limit of
the median raphe.
3. Transverse palatine
process or palatine
rugae are about six
distinct elevation
crossing the anterior
part of the hard

4. Fovea palatine are
small inconstant pits
on the posterior
margin of the hard
palate on either side
of the median raphe.
Is the posterior movable portion of the
palate, extending from one side of
the pharynx to the other, and
attached to the posterior border of
the hard palate.
Characteristic Features:
1. Uvula is the median
conical projection marked
by median raphe.

2. Palatine arches are free
margins of the soft palate
and splitting into two
parts as they approach
the lateral wall.
a. Palatoglossal arch or
anterior pillar of fauces or
anterior palatine arch
encloses the
palatoglossus muscle.
b. Palatapharyngeal arch
or posterior pillar of
fauces or posterior
palatine arch encloses the
palatopharyngeus muscle.
Muscles of the Soft Palate
Muscle Origin Insertion Action

Palatopharyn- Palatal Lateral wall of Elevates the
geus aponeurosis the pharynx pharynx and
and posterior larynx
border of the Closes the
thyroid cartilage oropharyngeal
Palatoglossus Palatal Dorsum and Closes the
aponeurosis lateral aspect of oropharyngeal
the tongue isthmus

Uvular Posterior nasal Uvula Raises the
spine uvula to help
seal oral from
nasal pharynx
Muscles of the Soft Palate
Muscle Origin Insertion Action

Levator veli Medial aspect Directly into Elevates
palatini of the auditory the palatine palate during
tube aponeurosis swallowing,

Tensor veli Lateral aspect Tendon hooks Tenses the
palatini of the under hamulus palate and
membranous and inserts opens the
portion of the into the palatal mouth of
auditory tube, aponeurosis auditory tube
scaphoid during
fossa of the swallowing
sphenoid bone and yawning
• A mobile mass of muscles lying on
the floor of the mouth and associated
with the function of taste, chewing,
swallowing, and speaking.
Characteristic features:
1. Root is the lower
portion of the
posterior half of the
tongue through which
the extrinsic muscles,
blood vessels and
nerves become
connected with the
organ. It is attached
to the mandible and
the hyoid bone
2. Body anterior part of the
tongue, made up of
interlacing skeletal

3. Margins are the lateral
portion of the tongue, free
and blunt, in relation to
the gums and teeth.

4. Tip or apex is the pointed
and free anterior end.

5. Inferior surface is seen
when the tongue is turned
6. Dorsum linguae is slightly
convex antero-posteriorly,
divided into 2 parts by a V-
shaped groove – the SULCUS
a. Palatine part is visible
when the mouth is opened,
covered by papillae.
b. Median sulcus is a faint
groove separating the
palatine part into
symmetrical parts.
c. Foramen caecum is a
small pit at the apex of the
sulcus terminalis.
d. Pharyngeal part is the
posterior 2/3s of the tongue
which contains serous glands
and nodules of lymphoid
e. Glosso-epiglottic fold is
the reflection of the mucous
membrane of the tongue on
to the epiglottis producing
1. Vallate or circumvallate papillae are the
largest, numbering from 7-12, and are
arranged in front of the sulcus terminalis.
2. Fungiform papillae are fewer in number
and are limited to the tip and margins of
the tongue.
3. Filiform papillae are the smallest and the
most numerous, scattered all over the
anterior 2/3 of the dorsum of the tongue.
The Taste Buds
- are receptor organs for the special
sensation of taste. They are pale
oval bodies most of which are
located surrounding the vallate
papillae; a few are found on the
fungiform and foliate papillae. A few
taste buds are scattered through the
epithelium of the oral surface of the
soft palate, the posterior wall of the
pharynx, and the epiglottis.
The Muscles of the Tongue

Extrinsic muscles are responsible for
changing position of the tongue.
Muscle Origin Insertion Action

Genioglossus Genial tubercle Tongue Retract and
of mandible depress the
Hyoglossus Hyoid bone Posterior half of Depress the
the side of the tongue
Styloglossus Styloid process Whole length of Pull the tongue
of temporal the tongue upwards and
bone backwards
The Muscles of the Tongue
The Intrinsic Muscles:
1. Superior and inferior longitudinal
- Located close to the dorsum of the tongue
- Shorten the length of the tongue and to
curl the tip of the tongue and back.
2. Transverse muscles
- narrows the tongue.
3. Vertical muscles
- flattens the tongue.
A Summary of the
Actions of the Tongue

1. Protrussion : genioglossus
2. Retrussion : hyoglossus,
styloglossus, genioglossus
3. Depression : genioglossus,
4. Elevation : styloglossus
5. Shortening : longitudinal intrinsic
6. Narrowing : transverse intrinsic
Paralyzed Tongue
a fractured mandible may damage
the hypoglossal nerve to pull the
tongue to the same side. General
anesthesia results in looseness, or
flaccidity, of muscles. A paralyzed or
flaccid tongue tends to fall back into
the airway, causing suffocation,
unless a patent airway is maintained.
Tongue Tie

A large lingual frenulum can limit
the mobility of the tongue and
interfere with speech. The
condition is easily repaired by
cutting the frenulum (lingual
The Salivary Glands and
Accessory Glands of the
Oral Cavity
The Salivary Glands of the
Oral Cavity

1. Parotid Gland

2. Submandibul
ar Gland

3. Sublingual
The Parotid Gland
The Parotid Gland
The parotid gland is one of
the three major salivary
glands that produce and
secrete saliva for the
oral cavity.

weight: about 14 to 28 g.

color :yellowish in the
fresh state

composition: serous
secreting units
Location and Relations
of the Parotid Gland
A. Anterior surface:
lies against the
posterior border of
the ramus of the

B. Posterior surface:
on the external
auditory meatus
id muscle
B. Superficial surface:
lobulated, covered
by skin, fascia,
lymph nodes, and
facial branches of
the great auricular

C. Deep surface:
styloid process and
its muscles as well
as under the
mastoid and
d muscles.
Capsule of the Parotid Gland
-The gland is wrapped in a fibrous capsule,
which is continuous with the deep investing
fascia of the neck.
-The stylomandibular ligament is an anterior
thickening of the capsule, which runs from
the styloid process to the angle of the
mandible. –
-It separates the parotid gland from the
infratemporal fossa anteriorly and separates
the parotid gland from the submandibular
gland inferiorly and anteriorly.
The Parotid Duct
From the rostral border
of the gland, crosses
masseter muscle,
turns inward to pierce
the fat pad of the
cheek and then the
buccinator muscle, to
open into the mouth
opposite the second
maxillary molar.
Approximately 5 cm.
1. A viral inflammation of the parotid
gland (mumps) causes it to swell,
resulting to pain on movement of
the jaw.
2. Abcesses or cysts of the gland may
result in pressure to the facial nerve
3. Stones or calculi in the duct can
block it, causing painful swelling of
the gland.
The Submandibular Gland
It is a mixed serous and mucous
secreting gland.

It is found partly in the submandibular
fossa below the mylohyoid muscle
and partly in the floor of the mouth.
The submandibular duct (Wharton’s)
arises from the medial surface of the
gland and accompanies it under the
mlohyoid muscle; it passes diagonally
across the medial aspect of the
sublingual gland and adheres to it. It
opens at the sublingual papillae
(sublingual caruncle) beside the base
of the lingual frenulum.
The Sublingual Gland
The smallest of the three major
salivary glands and rests upon the
mylohyoid muscle in the sublingual
fossa close to the symphysis. It is
primarily a mucous secreting gland.
The gland, indicated by the subligual fold
is found between the alveolus and the
anterior part of the tongue.

The gland has many lesser sublingual
ducts (Rivini’s) that opens separately at
the floor of the mouth and a greater
sublingual duct (Bartholin’s) that opens on
the sublingual caruncle together with the
Wharton’s duct.
The Accessory Glands
The Accessory Glands
Beside the main salivary glands,
many others exists: some in the
tongue, others around and in the
palatine tonsil between its crypts,
with the large number in the soft
palate, the posterior part of the hard
palate, the lips and the cheeks.
These are similar in structure to
larger salivary glands and are mainly
mucous type.